A professional athlete who made a difference both on and off the basketball court is the subject of Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story. The East Coast premiere of this 2018 documentary film will be screened during the Ninth Queens World Film Festival (QWFF).
There are still plenty of cinematic offerings that can be seen at the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) and Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, New York. QWFF winds down to its wrap date on March 31. The independent films include short narratives, features, animation and documentaries that are presented in thematic blocks. Tickets to each and all QWFF film blocks are available online at Brown Paper Tickets.
QWFF Executive Director Katha Cato said the festival experienced “an incredibly strong opening weekend hosting filmmakers and audiences from all over the world.” The festival is continuing with second Spirit of Queens honoree evening “featuring the stunning restoration of a black-and-white indie film treasure.”
One of the newly-restored films is In the Soup (1992) featuring Steve Buscemi, Seymour Cassel, Jennifer Beals, Jim Jarmusch, Carol Kane and Stanley Tucci. The film tells the story of a neurotic nebbish whose fantasy is to win his dream girl by producing and starring in a hit movie. In the Soup may be seen Thursday, March 28, at 7 p.m. at MoMI’s Redstone Theater.
Following the screening, In the Soup director Alexandre Rockwell will be interviewed by QWFF Spirit of Queens honoree David Schwartz. Mr. Schwartz is the former longtime chief curate for MoMI. During his tenure, he screened over 10,000 films at the museum and interviewed many leading producers, actors/actresses and filmmakers.
Ms. Cato added: “Our final weekend includes an inspiring documentary about basketball legend Ron Artest. The festival wraps up on closing night with exciting local filmmakers in the Queens Corner block.”
Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story (2018) was produced and directed Johnny Sweet, who was an Emmy award-winning ESPN feature producer for 10 years. The documentary follows Ron Artest from his adolescent years in the Queensbridge Houses to his recruitment in 1997 by hometown St. John’s University.
As a freshman, Artest was named to the Big East’s All-Rookie and All-Tournament teams and the Red Storm advanced to the NCAA tourney. Turning pro, Artest was drafted by the Chicago Bulls and played for four different NBA teams, ultimately helping the L.A. Lakers to the championship in 2010.
But the elation of victory came with a heavy price off the hardwood. Artest talked openly about his struggles with anxiety and depression – a subject long considered taboo among professional athletes. In 2011, Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace “to inspire and bring youth together all around the world.”
Quiet Storm will be screened Saturday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. in MoMI’s Redstone Theater.